Music mogul Simon Cowell is taking full control of Got Talent and The X Factor prodco Syco Entertainment, after striking a deal with Sony Music Entertainment.
The agreement will see Cowell personally buying out Sony’s stake in the joint venture, with ownership of all of the TV formats being moved into a privately held company, also to be called Syco Entertainment.
Cowell will have sole ownership of this independent entertainment company, having maintained a buy-back option. As part of the agreement, Sony Music will retain the JV’s music assets, including its roster of current artists and back catalogue.
Cowell said: “I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Rob and all of the Sony Music executives, artists and partners all over the world. It’s been a unique partnership and Sony have always backed and supported me to create television formats.
“The shows we created have found so many amazing artists over the years and so many of the various Sony labels all over the world have enabled so many of those artists to fulfil their dreams. We have all shared some incredible achievements, and importantly we have had lots of fun.
“I won’t say this was an easy decision to make, however sometimes you have to personally support something you are so passionate about. I’ve always believed it’s important to take on new goals in order to drive new ideas and creativity so I’m very excited to be taking an independent and creatively-led Syco Entertainment into the future.”
Rob Stringer, chairman of Sony Music Group, added: “At this particular contractual crossroads, it was simply the right thing for Simon to take control of his TV assets and propel his company in a new direction.
“Sony Music has had incredible global success with so many artists that have been launched through Simon’s vision and innovation and we are proud to continue to represent the Syco music catalogue and its artists. On a personal note, it has been an amazing adventure working with him as we have shared so many exciting pop culture moments as friends and partners.”
Sony purchased Cowell’s share of Syco Music and Syco Television in 2005. Four years later, the X Factor host launched a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment whereby the JV owned the rights to several formats including Got Talent and X Factor.
From these TV shows, during the partnership, artists were exclusively signed to Sony Music Entertainment-owned labels including Syco Music, Columbia Records, Epic Records, Sony Music Latin and RCA Records. As part of this new agreement, Syco Music remains wholly-owned and managed by Sony Music Entertainment and all artists remain signed with Sony Music Entertainment.
The Got Talent brand currently has 76 local versions produced around the world, while The X Factor airs in more than 130 territories.